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UT Austin, Binghamton Professors Win Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Two American professors have won the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing lithium-ion batteries.

On Wednesday, the University of Texas at Austin professor John Goodenough, M Stanley Whittingham of Binghamton University along with Akira Yoshino of Meijo University in Japan were announced winners by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm.

“Through their work, they have created the right conditions for a wireless and fossil fuel-free society, and so brought the greatest benefit to humankind,” the Nobel Foundation said while recognizing their work.

Goodenough who joined UT Texas in 1986 and serves as the Virginia H. Cockrell Centennial Chair of Engineering in the Cockrell School of Engineering has been at forefront of developing more sustainable and energy-efficient battery materials.

 

He recently identified a new safe cathode material for use in sodium-ion batteries.

“Billions of people around the world benefit every day from John’s innovations,” said Gregory L. Fenves, president of The University of Texas at Austin and former dean of the Cockrell School.

“In addition to being a world-class inventor, he’s an outstanding teacher, mentor and researcher. We are grateful for John’s three decades of contributions to UT Austin’s mission.”

Whittingham who is a distinguished professor of chemistry and materials science at Binghamton University is a pioneer in the development of lithium-ion batteries and holds the original patent on the concept of the use of intercalation chemistry in high-power density, highly reversible lithium batteries – work.

“Professor Whittingham’s work has fundamentally changed the way the world stores and utilizes energy, making possible a revolution in consumer and industrial technologies,” said Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger.

“For nearly thirty years, Professor Whittingham has been one of the most visible and productive researchers at the University, and all of us at Binghamton congratulate him on this great honor,” he added.

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